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12 of the Most Destructive Earthquakes

China: July 27, 1976

This quake, a 7.5 on the Richter scale, was one of many major tremors over the years along the "Ring of Fire," a belt of heavy seismic activity around the Pacific Ocean. It struck Tangshan, then a city of one million people near China's northeastern coast. Official Chinese figures indicate around 250,000 deaths, but other estimates are as high as 655,000.